SANTA ANA, Calif., April 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NKGen Biotech, a biotechnology company harnessing the power of the body’s immune system through the development of Natural Killer (NK) cell therapies, today announced that it has appointed Steven Cha, M.D. as its Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Cha will oversee the clinical development of NKGen Biotech’s lead product SNK01 as well as its pipeline of other novel NK cell therapies.
“We are extremely pleased to have Steven join the NKGen Biotech team during this rapid growth phase for the Company,” said Stephen Chen, Chief Operating Officer. “His broad expertise and leadership in oncology, early and late-stage drug development, and proficiency with business development transactions make him an ideal fit for NKGen Biotech,” he concluded.
Dr. Cha has 15 years of R&D industry experience encompassing both large and small pharmaceutical companies. Since 2018 he has served as Vice President of Oncology at Samumed LLC, a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company. Prior to that Dr. Cha was Senior Director, Global Clinical Lead at Pfizer focused on early oncology development. In his earlier roles Dr. Cha was Head of the metastatic breast cancer franchise at Puma Biotechnology, Senior Medical Director, Clinical Development at MEI Pharma, Medical Director at Allergan where he worked on Botox in urologic disorders, and Medical Director at Amgen where he was primarily focused on Nplate and blinatumomab.
Dr. Cha joins NKGen Biotech during an exciting period as the Company advances its allogeneic program towards IND filing while continuing work on SNK01 in refractory solid tumors in both monotherapy and combination therapy partnered programs.
“NK cell therapy represents a highly promising novel treatment paradigm in oncology,” said Dr. Cha. “I am extremely enthusiastic about joining the NKGen Biotech team to work on SNK01 and the follow-on allogeneic and CAR-NK programs, which I believe have the potential to become best-in-class NK cell therapies for oncology patients.”
Dr. Cha completed a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of California, San Diego and obtained his M.D. from the Tufts University School of Medicine. He has also completed fellowships in Hematology and Blood and Marrow Transplant at Stanford University.
About NKGen Biotech
NKGen Biotech, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative autologous, allogeneic, and CAR-NK Natural Killer (NK) Cell therapeutics. Leveraging our proprietary cell expansion and activation technology and cutting-edge cell manufacturing expertise, we have the ability to infinitely expand natural killer cells while significantly enhancing cytotoxicity across our peripheral blood-derived products. NKGen Biotech’s lead product candidate, SNK01, is currently in Phase 1 and Phase 1/2a clinical trials for the treatment of advanced refractory solid tumors both as a monotherapy and in combination with other agents including checkpoint inhibitors and cell engagers. NKGen Biotech is committed to the vision of executing on our clinical strategies with the goal of commercializing our NK cell therapies to help save and sustain patients’ lives worldwide. The company and its commercially licensed cGMP facility are headquartered in Santa Ana, California, USA. For more information, please visit www.nkgenbiotech.com.
Denise Chua, MBA, CLS, MT (ASCP)
Vice President, Marketing